CNN's Jake Tapper takes aim at Trump over coronavirus response: Do you have a plan?

CNN host Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperCNN's Jake Tapper slams 'Trump's unprecedented war on accountability' Ron Johnson says he's not 'crying big crocodile tears' over firing of State Department IG HHS secretary points to 'unhealthy comorbidities' when asked about high coronavirus death rate in US MORE on Sunday delivered a critique of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump marks 'very sad milestone' of 100K coronavirus deaths DOJ: George Floyd death investigation a 'top priority' Lifting our voices — and votes MORE over his administration's response to the novel coronavirus outbreak, saying that the American people are becoming desperate for answers on "what is going to be done to get us out of this."

"It’s a moment that requires leadership, it requires honest information, it requires empathy, and it requires a plan. Do you have one?" Tapper asked on CNN's "State of the Union." 

In a three-minute monologue, Tapper emphasized a range of problems, from a lack of testing to medical equipment shortages, that many states have experienced amid the pandemic. He also said that health care workers are "are quite literally dying while they try to protect our society and save lives" and that states are nearing their capacity for crucial equipment like ventilators. 


The CNN anchor repeatedly asked if there was a plan to address these urgent needs, noting that it's still unclear if the president has fully utilized the Defense Production Act to compel private companies to manufacture more equipment. 

"What about the cotton masks that the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] is now suggesting that we all wear when we leave our homes?" he asked. "Is someone manufacturing them? How can we get them? Is there a plan?"

The message came as confirmed cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, continued to rapidly increase around the country, straining the capacity of hospitals dealing with a surge in patients. The outbreak has led to increasing calls for a more unified, national response to the pandemic, as governors and mayors warn of a shortage in intensive care units and ventilators. 

“I’m grateful for the help that we’ve gotten,” Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) said on "Fox News Sunday." "[But] not having a national strategy where there is one policy for the country as opposed to a patchwork based on who the governor is something that I think is creating a more porous situation where COVID-19 will go longer and more people will get sick.”

Many officials have said that they've received only a fraction of what they've requested. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D), for example, predicted on Sunday that his state would reach its ventilator capacity by Thursday. 


Trump has repeatedly pushed back against the rhetoric from certain governors. He said during a Friday White House briefing that states "were totally unprepared for this" and lashed out at a reporter who asked about White House senior adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerTrump's strategy to stay in office Trump tries to soothe anxious GOP senators Press: King Donald's goal - no checks, no balances MORE's comments about the federal stockpile of medical equipment. 

Tapper on Sunday implored Trump to focus more on vocalizing a plan for Americans, saying, "attacking governors and mayors and journalists for asking questions, that might please your fans, it doesn’t save one life."

"This is not about winning a news cycle on Fox," Tapper added. "Please. The American people right now need someone to explain what is going to be done to get us out of this."

The U.S. has confirmed more than 320,000 cases of Covid-19 and more than 9,100 deaths caused by it, according to a Johns Hopkins University database. Trump and top administration health officials warn that the virus will worsen in the next two weeks.